23% of UK lung cancer cases missed
Excerpt adapted from original article published by Verdict Medical Devices, Chloe Kent, 22 October 2019 https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/news/lung-cancer-x-rays/
X-rays miss up to 23% of incidences of lung cancer in the UK, according to a review published in the British Journal of General Practice.
The British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends clinicians order an X-ray in the first instance if they suspect a patient has lung cancer, but the study authors suggest computed tomography (CT) scans should be the first port of call.
While X-rays cost around £25 each and are quick to perform, CT scans cost up to £500 and take longer.
The researchers wrote: “[UK] lung cancer outcomes still lag behind other high-income countries, with less patients diagnosed at early stages of the illness. There are likely to be many reasons for this, but this research suggests that one factor could be our reliance on chest X-ray, compared to other countries that make more use of tests like computed tomography scans.”
ANCON Medical CEO Wesley Baker commented on the results of the study, saying: “For one of the most deadly diseases in the UK to be missed in nearly a quarter of diagnostic tests demonstrates the archaic processes that are currently in place… the NHS needs help to catch lung cancer at stage 1 reliably, whether that be through screening or more accurate diagnosis.”
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the UK, with less than one in ten patients surviving for five years after diagnosis. These survival rates have made little improvement over the past 40 years.
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